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Bite Into The Unexpected With Toyo Eatery’s Ongoing Salu-Salo Dinner Series

Toyo Eatery, in partnership with Nespresso Philippines and The Peninsula Manila hotel, its official residence partner, just launched a new dinner series called “Salu-Salo” starting with a four-hands dinner held at Toyo Eatery earlier this month. This dinner collaboration between Toyo Eatery’s Chef Jordy Navarra and Chef de Cuisine Allan Briones of The Peninsula Manila’s Old Manila was a great way of letting us experience what “Salu-Salo” is all about.


Chefs Allan Briones, Jordy Navarra, and The Peninsula Manila’s Executive Pastry Chef Xavier Castello


The Tagalog word salu-salo translates to different meanings: an assembly or meeting, a social gathering, or a group of people doing something together. For Toyo Eatery, the term “Salu-Salo” simply refers to a series of chef collaboration dinners that it is hosting and organizing in the coming months, featuring some of the best talents of the culinary world cooking in the Toyo kitchen.


Toyo’s Chicken Liver Parfait on Panaderya Toyo 48-hour loaf


Earlier this year, Toyo Eatery earned the distinction of receiving the Miele One To Watch Award at the Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 ceremony. It is usually bestowed on a rising star in the Asian dining scene, with the potential of joining the elite 50 included in the Asia’s 50 Best list. Toyo Eatery certainly lives up to this honor.

At the dinner launch, we were treated to some of Chef Jordy’s inventive takes on traditional Filipino dishes. The starter or amuse bouche was a Tomato Meringue with hints of ginataang langka or jackfruit cooked in coconut milk. Another dish was Chicken Liver Parfait (like a pâté but smoother) slathered on a 48-hour loaf from sister bakery Panaderya Toyo and garnished with freshly-popped corn and a selection of edible greens in different hues. The salad course featured Chef Jordy’s signature deconstructed Bahay Kubo garden salad under a bed of charred “soil.”


Chef Allan Briones’ Malagos Goat Cheese Tart


Chef Allan, on the other hand, treated us to some of Old Manila’s classic dishes, starting with a Malagos Goat Cheese Tart with candied pili nut and Davao white chocolate sampinit (local wild raspberry) gelée, finished with just the right sprinkling of calamansi sea salt. He also prepared perfectly Seared Scallops with roasted cashew, shimeji mushrooms, long beans, and heirloom black rice.


Beef Short Ribs with Banana Heart Barigoule


The main entrée was a “collaboration” dish consisting of melt-in-your-mouth 48-hour braised beef short ribs. The dish was served with a banana heart barigoule by Chef Allan, as well as a to-die-for umami bomb of palayok or earthen pot-cooked rice by Chef Jordy, topped with lightly battered, crispy fried takla or snapping shrimp (crayfish) and gamet, a type of seaweed from the Ilocos region.


Fried Takla, Gamet with Palayok Rice


For dessert, we were spoiled for choice with Toyo’s bittersweet Chocolate Cake with preserved calamansi served with a plateful of sweets or mignardises, consisting of Toyo’s cassava cake, banana inipit with burnt custard and curry leaf on top, and ube halaya mousse. But The Peninsula’s Frozen Baguio Strawberry “Cheese Cake” was hands down the crowd favorite dessert that night, cleverly executed by The Peninsula’s Executive Pastry Chef Xavier Castello. He treated us to a heavenly, frozen strawberry flavored cheese cake, shaped like a popular ice cream bar, that he served with a side of equally decadent cake deconstructed with elements of marinated berry compote, graham crumble, and Madagascar Chantilly cream. 


Frozen Baguio Strawberry “Cheese Cake”


The next Salu-Salo dinners at Toyo Eatery will be featuring chefs from some of Asia’s best restaurants, starting with Chef Ray Adriansyah of Locavore in Bali, Indonesia on July 24 and 25, 2018. 


Locavore’s Chef Ray Adriansyah with some “palaman” created at a pop-up collaboration in Panaderya Toyo last July 21


Here’s what’s coming up next in the ongoing Salu-Salo dinner series:

Nouri (Singapore)?

August 8 and 9, 2018


Sühring (Bangkok, Thailand)?

No. 4 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018

August 16 and 17, 2018


Mume (Taipei, Taiwan)?

No. 18 on Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018

September 26 and 27, 2018


JL Studio and Restaurant Labyrinth (Taipei, Taiwan and Singapore)?

Two nights in October, to be announced


Toyo Eatery, The Alley at Karrivin, 2316 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati City, (0917) 720-8630

Dinners only, Tuesdays to Saturdays from 6 pm


Follow @toyoeatery on Instagram for updates on the Salu-Salo series. Reservations to the Salu-Salo dinners will only be accepted one week prior to the event dates. Email for reservations.


Photos by Cyrene de la Rosa

Follow the author on Instagram and Twitter @cyrenedelarosa